questions & answers: general japan travel

first timer in japan....totally no clue

First timer in Japan....totally no clue

Hello,

We are from Bali, Indonesia and we will be visiting Japan for the first time in Oct. Arriving in HND at 11.45pm, we assumed that best if we wait till the first train works to take us to Ota (where we're staying).
We'll be in Japan for 16days.

28oct - 04 nov : Tokyo
04 nov - 10 nov : Kyoto

What would you suggest if we want to visit mt fuji area, not for hiking, just to see. Or, is there anything to see?

10 nov - 12 nov : Tokyo and then HND airport departure.

There are two of us. And Do we need to purchase JR pass?
From what I read, JR Pass can only be purchased outside of Japan? How does this work? If we buy it now online, can we activate the ticket in Tokyo? Where and when?
What is your suggestion? We're totally lost here....

Thank you very much.

prithabali
prithabali

Hi there!

Japan can indeed be a little overwhelming the first time that you come to visit. Don't worry though, most people get used to everything quickly. Still I think you will be amazed many times.

Landing at HND at 11.45 can be a problem but it is probably best to either stay at the Airport or book a hotel close by.

For mount Fuji and surrounding area, there's a couple of options: the most popular is visiting Fuji 5 Lakes which is a very beautiful area and you can either make small or long walks whilst enjoying the view of Mt Fuji. A 2nd option is to make a visit to Hakone which is also very beautiful and offers many sightseeing spots and attractions.

As for what JR to use? I would suggest going for the 7 day JR Pass and use it from nov 4 - nov 10. The pass is about the same price as a normal return Tokyo - Kyoto, so any additional travel you may do, basically is what you save. You could for instance make a day trip from Kyoto to Osaka, Nara, Kobe, Wakayama or even Hiroshima. The possibilities are endless (almost anyway).

As for buying the JR Pass, you can indeed only buy them outside of Japan you can order one online here or buy one at a local re-seller. Than you get a voucher which you than can activate at most of the major station in Japan, including Haneda Airport (from 11 am) and Tokyo station. Here is a list with all exchange stations.

I hope this helps you on your way!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel-san,

Thank you very much for getting back to us.

The 7 days JR Pass is $284.00 - and it means we can use it on nov 4 to get to Kyoto and back to Tokyo again on Nov 10? And does it mean that we could use it also to visit: Fuji 5 lakes, Hakone, Osaka, Nara Kobe, Wakayama and Hiroshima?

What about our first 6 days in Tokyo (29oct - 3nov), how do we get around? Do we need another JR Pass, or is there any other solution to get around?

Can we use JR Pass inside Kyoto? Or we need to get a buss package? I read somewhere that there's not much train in Kyoto?

On our first day in Tokyo, 29oct, if we take the very first train, around 5am (am i correct?), to Ota, what train ticket we need to use? You mentioned that JR Pass ticket exchange offices only open 11am? I don't think we'd like to hang out in the airport for 12 hours just to wait for the office to open. What do you think?

Thank you very much,
Pritha

prithabali
prithabali

Hi Pritha,

The 7 day JR Pass is 28,300 (USD price depends on the current exchange rate) which will cover all your travel on the JR from Nov 4th until Nov 10th. This would include all of the above travel except for the area around Fuji (including Hakone) but even there savings are to be had. Let me know if you have any specific place you wish to visit and I can give you detailed route information.

Going on to your other

Arrival at Haneda Airport I do think that its a good idea to stay at Haneda airport and travel on this next morning, this way you can save money on accommodation costs. The first train connection to leave 5:17 am here is the link in Hyperdia, look at Route 2. It is still a good journey but at least you can relax once you arrive at your friends place. You can activate the JR Pass later on at one of the main station in the Tokyo area, so there's no need to wait for the ticket office to open.

Tokyo and surrounding Area For the other days in Tokyo / Ota, I would stick with normal tickets or buy day passes because travel around the metropolis of Tokyo is relatively low priced, this is also why I would recommend a 7 day JR Pass instead of a 14 day pass.

On to Kyoto I would use the JR Pass to travel to Kyoto as Shinkansen travel can be rather expansive, you can also make some great day trips from Kyoto as mentioned before, all these are covered by the JR Pass. There are not that many trains in Kyoto itself and the best way to get around is by bus. A 500yen day ticket is available which allows for unlimited travel on the day of purchase.

Back to Tokyo and flight back home You can use the JR Pass to travel back to Tokyo with the bullet train, this trip is completely covered by the JR Pass. I would recommend buying normal tickets for the last couple of days in Tokyo.

I hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

hi Daniel-san,

Thanks. you are a great help :)

could you help to find the best route from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji area. we want to use the JR pass like you recommended on the 4th Nov. what route we do not need to pay additional fees?
That's a possible location for Mt. Fuji we want to stay: Funatsu, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamituru-gun, Yamanashi, Japan 401-0301

then we want to continue on the 6th Nov. to Kyoto. same question: what train or bus to get with out extra charges to Kyoto. what station will we arrive? we probably will stay closed to Kinkaku-Ji temple.

and on 10th we want to go back to Tokyo also using the JR pass with no additional charges. can you please advice what trains bus route we should take?

thank you very much fro your help.
Pritha

prithabali
prithabali

Hi Pritha!

The best way to get to Fujikawaguchiko with the JR Pass is to travel from Tokyo to the station called Otsuki - here you transfer to the Fujikyu line bound for Kawaguchiko. All travel until Otsuki is covered by the JR Pass the part after is ¥1,110.

Than on to Kyoto, from Kawaguchiko you will have to travel back to Tokyo station with the same transfer at Otsuki, than at Tokyo station there's a direct bullet train connection to Kyoto leaving twice an hour.
Kyoto is served by the biggest station building in Japan, simply knows as Kyoto. From there the best way to get into the city is by bus, although there's also a limited amount of Metro Lines. A single bus ride will set you back 220yen but there's also an all day bus pass available for 500yen.

The way back from Kyoto - Tokyo by bullet train is also covered by the JR Pass.

I hope this helps!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
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